The Dreadful Day

The Dreadful Day

Abhijit Chakraborty

It was dark in the room. But outside the sun was above the head. It was 12 o' clock. Reba was still lying on the bed. Although she was an early riser, these days situation was very different. If she had tried to get up, it would have been impossible for her, because her body was paralysed.

Reba woke up from her sleep with aspiration and as usual tried to sit on the bed but she couldn't. Suddenly she remembered the incident that made her whole body paralyse and started weeping. While she was weeping her mobile rang. She looked at its screen. The name Prakash was flashing. Prakash, her classmate from class V, now her fiancé was calling her. It became his daily routine to call her more than 10 times when he was out of Kolkata for his family business. That day Prakash also had to go out for the same purpose, remembered Reba. She still felt that if Prakash had been with her that day nothing would have happened. She cut the phone in anger and started weeping again.

Reba was very lively from her childhood. Her complexion was fair, long hair and lean body. As she was the only child of businessman Sanjeev Basak, she had got everything on her first wish. Being so pampered she never insulted others but helped them instead. She had only one bad habit of buying a new smart phone and selling it in OLX every 6 months. She met Prakash Sen in class V and gradually became best friends and fell for him when they were in college for M. Com. Prakash's parents and Reba's parents also knew each other before but consented to their relationship only to make them happy. Life was really blissful for Reba until the incident happened.

The phone rang for the second time. This time it wasn't Prakash but her father Sanjeev. On mobile screen, Father was flashing. Looking at the screen Reba wiped her tears and picked up the phone.

"Have you taken your breakfast, Mamon," a caring voice came out from the other side of the phone.

"Not yet, Baba," replied Reba with a firm voice. "I've just woke up".

"Ok but don't forget to take your medicine after breakfast," Sanjeev said with a daily reminder voice.

"How long will it take, Baba? I need to stand up, run like before,” an impatient Reba roared.

No answer came from the opposite side but only a long sigh. After some pause, Sanjeev answered, “We will all go to a picnic on your birthday next month".

On hearing her birthday, she remembered her early birthday stories. Every year she had a grand birthday party. She would get up very early and go to parlour for preparing herself for the evening party. In evening time, she wore a princess like dress. Every year her father invited some celebrity to attend the party. But last year her birthday party was not so grand because her father's business was running in losses. Even they had to sell their own car to save the business. That time Prakash's father helped her father a lot.

"If my father hadn't sold our car, I wouldn’t have taken the taxi that day," Reba remembered the incident again and started sobbing in fear. Within a minute her sobbing became so much pain for her that she could not breathe properly. She shouted for help and her mother came in the spot. She gave her some medicines but unlike every day it didn't work today. Reba sobbed more than before. After a while, Reba's mother noticed that some blood oozing out of her mouth. Without wasting time Mrs Basak called her husband.

In his office, Mr Sanjeev Basak was in deep thought. His family doctor's advice reminded him that very soon he was going to lose her beloved daughter. He visited a lot of doctors but with same answers.

"We are helpless Mr Basak. We can't save your daughter's life. Her all the body parts have been damaged," Said their family doctor when she was taken to the hospital after the incident. That day she was senseless. Her T-shirt was covered with a pool of blood and torn. Some bruises were spotted on her face. It was bleeding from her whole body.

Mr Sanjeev Basak was in his office that day working late night as usual and he was thinking about a surprise gift for her daughter. He knew that her daughter was not happy because he couldn’t arrange a grand birthday party for her this year. Although Reba never complained, knowing her father’s business situation. Suddenly his mobile rang.

“Hello! Who’s this?” asked Mr Basak.

“Hello! I’m inspector Borun Ganguly. Is this Mr Sanjeev Basak,” said the other side speaker.

“Yes, is there anything wrong, Mr Ganguly?” said Mr Basak.

“Actually, we found a girl lying unconscious here in front of an abandoned factory. We found her admit card and there found a name Reba Basak and your name in father’s name field with this number,” informed inspector Ganguly.

After hearing it Mr Basak fell down from his chair. He couldn’t move for a second. The dark appeared before his eyes. Only he was hearing repeatedly hello sounds from the receiver speaker of his mobile fallen down beside him.

“Hello!” answered Mr Basak, making him calm.

“Please write the address and come as soon as possible,” said inspector Ganguly.

“One minute,” assured Mr Basak and found a piece of paper and scribbled the address. Then taking his few employees he went out to bring Reba home.

His mobile rang. Mr Basak was thinking of that day. He only knew how he brought his daughter and admitted her in the hospital and his family Doctor’s advice after that. He looked at his mobile screen. It was his wife. He understood the final day had come. His hands started shivering so terrible that he couldn’t receive the call. The mobile got cut and rang for the second time. This time he made himself strong received the call.

“Hello! Reba is sobbing, blood oozing from her mouth. I’ve given her medicine but not working,” cried Mrs Basak.

“Admit her to the hospital immediately. I’m coming there taking our family doctor,” assured Mr Basak.

Immediately Reba was taken to the hospital. In the hospital Reba was alone. She was taking oxygen there in I.C.U. She also knew that she couldn’t live more. She remembered vaguely again what actually happened on that day “The dreadful day.””

For a few days, Reba was very upset because her darling father was not paying attention to her. Although she knew the reason that her father was trying hard to restore his business again. But today she was happy. Her father gave her some money to buy a smart phone last night. Neither had he given anything as a gift when she had completed her master degree a few months ago nor on her birthday. Even her last birthday was not grand because of the same reason. His father sold their car too.

Every time when she bought smart phone she would accompany Prakash. But today he could not accompany her. After completing his master degree Prakash was now busy in his father business. She also knew Prakash’s father was helping her father to restore his business. So indirectly Prakash was helping his father means helping her father too. Prakash had been to Durgapur for the business purpose from the day after yesterday. In the morning he called her and said to wait for two more days but Reba was excited, so she decided to buy it all alone today.

Reba was waiting for the metro. It showed 7 at the clock of Chandni Metro station. Today she departed from her home quite late. Every time when Prakash was with her, he hurried her but today she was free of that. Even she took a lot of time to choose for her desirable smart phone. She searched every corner of Chandni Market. Finally, she was happy buying a new phone again. She was very eager to show it to her father.

When Reba looked at a clock of the metro station, it showed 7:35. She became alerted. She also noticed few passengers were there.

“All the passengers are requested to return their ticket in counter, because of someone committed suicide in the metro, we’re going to stop metro services for today,” Reba heard the announcement.

She suddenly went out of the station and tried to return her ticket in counter but she found a long queue. After returning the ticket and collecting her money she looked at her wrist watch. It was 8 that time. She finally came out on the road but getting any vehicle soon became impossible for her. As she had a habit of riding in the car, she tried to look for cars only ignoring buses. She was refused by many car drivers. After a constant refusal, she dared to walk alone to home.

After walking for some minutes, she took rest alone on an empty road. Suddenly she saw a car and shouted to stop. The car stopped before her. She found two men including driver sat on the driver seat. Reba looked at the face of the driver. On his face, a long scar crossed from his upper left forehead to his lower right chin.

“Would you like to go to Garia?” sighed weary Reba.

“Of course, madam,” grinned the driver.

Without thinking, Reba got into the back seat of the car. The car started moving. While sitting there Reba watched that the driver was calling someone and his friend stared at her. She sensed something mysterious and asked the driver to stop the car. The driver stopped the car at that moment. Reba was just about to open the gate, a stranger entered from the gate and another one from opposite gate. They started pushing her from both sides and the driver started the car again. Reba kicked one stranger but he slapped on her face. Meanwhile, the opposite side stranger grasped her tight from the back. Reba tried hard to get rid of them but both of them slapped her constantly. At a point, Reba became semi-conscious. When she regained her consciousness, she found her in a factory and four men talking to each other and drinking liquor.

“Please let me go home,” implored Reba.

“Don’t worry baby! Just cooperate with us,” one of them said.

Reba looked around and saw the car parked outside of the factory. She ran toward it and caught by one of them. He first slapped her and tore her top and thrust her against a wall. She lost her balance and her head hit the wall, bleeding it. Reba fell down on the floor and they together pounced on her. Reba defied them few times but they fractured her limbs so that she could not move. Tears came out of her eyes in agonizing pain. For two hours they had been tormenting her before the driver suggested them to kill her for their safety. One of them dragged Reba a few feet but until then she was half dead. The driver’s friend smashed his beer bottle on a wall and came close to Reba for killing her with the half-broken bottle. When he was about to kill her, they heard the siren of a police car. They ran off the place with the car deserting her. What she last saw was police rescuing her.

Reba cried out of fear and found her in the I.C.U. She felt something was flowing from her body. She uncovered her blanket. It was a pool of blood oozing from her whole body.

“Doctors, please save me,” said Reba.

“Operation, the immediate operation needed,” cried out their family doctor entering and looking at her body.

It had been one hour, the operation was still going on. Mr and Mrs Basak with Prakash’s parents were waiting outside corridor. Mrs Basak had already called Prakash. After half an hour Prakash also joined them. They were all worried, especially Sanjeev Basak who behaved like a small child looking for his mother.

Another hour passed but there was no ending of their long wait. Eventually, the operation light went off. Everyone stood up to know the final verdict. The doctor came out of the operating room. Mr Basak was not in a position to ask anything so Prakash’s father approached the doctor.

The doctor shook his head, seeing him. Mr Basak was watching doctor from a distance. After seeing doctor’s indication, he broke into tears. All of a sudden, the whole family was immersed in deep sorrow.

It may be just daily news for some of us. Maybe we react sometimes but forget the next moment. But for Reba’s family, it is a never-ending sorrow that they have to bear for their rest of life.

It was not Reba’s age to die. But she had to because of some sex maniac people in our society.

***

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